An Open Letter to the Racist Chelsea Fans

Updated: March 3, 2015

To the Racist Chelsea Fans Contingent,

Well you’ve certainly been busy lately, haven’t you? Paris was bad enough, but reports of a second incident in the wake of the League Cup Final (yay Chelsea!) are now making the rounds. I think it’s high time we had a chat.

Now, with most people, I’d appeal to their sense of right and wrong, but obviously that’s not going to work with you lot. But we do need to figure out a way to bring this crap to an end, one way or another. You guys are bringing the Chelsea name into disrepute (as if one of the most hated clubs in the world needed any help in that department), and you’re making the overwhelming majority of Chelsea fans (who, thankfully, aren’t racist) feel bad. Not that you care about that very much, probably, but the rest of us do, so that’s why we need to figure something out. If the world was perfect, you just wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Chelsea FC, or the game of the football at large, or really even outside of whatever hole you crawled out of, but that’s unfortunately not going to happen. So let’s just try to find the next best alternative.

Let me ask you something: did you enjoy winning the league title for the first time in 50 years in 2004-2005? Was that fun? What about finally winning the Champions League in 2012? I’d imagine most of you enjoyed those two things. Well, this is the part where I point out that all the great times the club has enjoyed over the last decade would be impossible without people like Didier Drogba, Claude Makelele, Florent Malouda, Michael Essien, Ashley Cole, etc. You know what else all of those people have in common? They are all not-white. Shocking, I know! Now, you might say, “well, I’m a racist piece of sh*t, but I make an exception for Chelsea players, because they play for the club that I love and bring me joy on the pitch, and that transcends things like my pathetic, small-minded bias.” Well, did you know that when you do things like what happened on the Paris metro, it upsets a lot more people than just the one you meant to? You even made Jose Mourinho feel shame, and that’s almost impossible to do. Why would you want to hurt Drogba and Mourinho? Don’t you want to make them happy?

“Well I’m not really racist! Maybe I was just trying to piss those specific people off,” you might say. Well, that’s not really okay either, but I guess I’m probably not going to be able to stop you there. But might I recommend that you figure out a way to do so without bring race (or gender, or sexual identity, or religion, or any other hot topics, for that matter) into the equation? Maybe you can laugh at them for being Liverpool fans (tip: bring up the whole Slippy G thing), or talk about their stupid haircut, or whatever? Honestly, we’d probably all prefer if you stopped being a prick in general, especially when you’re wearing your Chelsea gear, but I suppose at least that would be better than the whole racist thing. Because, again, the racist thing is upsetting to everyone.

“I only do stuff like that when I’m really piss drunk! That shouldn’t count,” you might say. See, one of the aspects of these two incidents that has been neglected is that fact that both involved groups of fans who were intoxicated. But it’s time we addressed that issue. Now, this might come as a surprise to you (although, honestly, I doubt it), but most drunk people are assholes. So maybe stop drinking so much when you’re at a Chelsea match? I mean, if you’re drinking so much that you think it makes you a racist (spoiler alert: you were actually a racist all along), then you really can’t have enjoyed the match all that much. Like, do you even remember the game at that point? Those tickets were probably really expensive (not to mention the trip to Paris, or trip to London from Manchester), so maybe make the most of your attendance. As a Chelsea fan from the United States who has only ever seen the club in preseason when they come here, and has never had the privilege of making the trip to Stamford Bridge, let me tell you that there’s plenty of fans who would love to be able to attend the games in person. So don’t waste those tickets. And if you really are only looking for a place to get roaring drunk, then you could save yourself a lot of money and just head down to the pub. And don’t wear your Chelsea gear, because you really are an asshole when you’re drunk.

One more thing: it’s not even in your own, misguided best interest to keep doing this stuff. I mean, you do realize that you’re hurting the very club that you claim to love, right? Like, when you do stuff like this, it makes Chelsea look bad, gives the media more ammunition with which to write “Chelsea are just the worst” articles, and so forth. All of those things are exactly what combine to create an environment where Chelsea has significantly less calls go their way in the EPL, which leads to things like the Burnley game. Were you upset that day? Me too. And I’m not saying it was your fault completely, but anything that drags the name of Chelsea through the mud is going to continue to breed a poisonous atmosphere around the club.

So, basically, just stop. Enough is enough. In an ideal world, we’d find a way to weed all you racist fans out of the game completely, at Chelsea or otherwise. Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to happen. So at least learn to keep it to yourself, because when these incidents happen, to quote the great Didier Drogba, “it’s a f**king disgrace.”

This piece has been contributed by Oscar Puente, a Chelsea fan since Michael Ballack joined the club in 2006. Oscar hails from New York City, and is a mathematician and economist in his regular life. You can find him on Twitter @footiefromafar.

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